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Severe Asthma with Biologics
Biologics for Asthma & Advanced Asthma for Kids
While asthma remains uncurable, advances in medicine continue to allow us to help patients keep it under better control. This allows kids to experience life in a way that they can often feel almost asthma-free. Traditional means of controlling asthma tend to focus around avoiding risky triggers and using either inhaled or oral medication to keep symptoms down. But everyone is different, and so Dr. Shukla is proud to offer biologics asthma for kids in New York City.
What Are Biologics?
The FDA has recently approved five biologic drugs to help control asthma as part of your asthma treatment. This unique medication has been shown to help patients with moderate-to-severe asthma and has become known as a "precision" therapy.
A biologic is a type of medication manufactured from the cells of an organism. The origin of the cells could be a multicellular animal like a mouse or as small as a specific bacteria. What makes the treatment unique is that the cell is then modified so that it targets certain molecules in the human body. This process has many possible applications, but for asthma, these cells are modified to target specific antibodies, inflammatory molecules, or certain cell receptors. Biologics precisely target these pathways, preventing the inflammatory response that results in asthma symptoms.
Who Are Biologics Right For?
Currently, we only offer biologic treatment for children with moderate to advanced asthma. We typically pursue other avenues of treatment first, such as inhalants, which can provide symptom relief. However, many of our young patients may not respond to these traditional methods. If your child continues to have regular and persistent asthma symptoms, then biologics may be what they need to control their asthma.
If your child still shows the following symptoms despite having other treatment methods, then it may be time to try biologics.
- Frequent coughing or wheezing
- Frequent shortness of breath (especially at night)
- Still requiring a fast-acting reliever medication multiple times in a week or even a day
- Recurrent hospital admissions or emergency room visits
- A need for oral steroids
Before Dr. Shukla prescribes biologics, he carefully looks at your child's case. This includes ensuring your child uses their current medication as prescribed and looking for other conditions that may be affecting asthma.
Benefits of Biologic Treatment for Asthma
One of the biggest strengths of biologics is it decreases the frequency of asthma exacerbations. This means fewer trips to the ER/hospital or the need for oral steroids. In addition, biologics treatment shows improvements in overall asthma symptoms. Your child should see a marked improvement in quality of life. They may be able to enjoy the outdoors and activities more than ever before, resulting in a fuller childhood.
What Biologics Are There for Asthma?
Currently, there are five FDA-approved biologics for asthma, and more are being developed. Each option works slightly differently, so we carefully match the right one to your child's needs. This includes several screening tests to see what has the best chances of giving your child relief from asthma symptoms. Some biologics are ideal for children as young as 6, while others are best for children 12 or older.
FDA-Approved Biologics Include:
- Omalizumab (brand name Xolair)
- Mepolizumab (brand name Nucala)
- Reslizumab (brand name Cinqair)
- Benralizumab (brand name Fasenra)
- Dupilumab (brand name Dupixent)
What Is the Treatment Like?
Biologics treatment looks a bit different from other asthma medications. Instead of focusing on oral administration or inhalation, this treatment works through in-office injection. While the treatment itself is quick, we may ask you and your child to stay for some time in the office (about 30 minutes to two hours). This is to allows us a timeframe of observation to make sure everything is going smoothly. Treatment is then repeated every 2-8 weeks, depending on your child's prescribed biologic.
The timeframe in which you can see results can vary, though we generally recommend a trial period of at least four months. This allows us to see even gradual improvements and make changes to treatment if needed. There is no set timeframe for the duration of treatment, but we tend to make adjustments as children age and their severity of asthma changes. Many children see their symptoms naturally lessen as they grow older, so we adapt treatments accordingly.
Awards and Recognition
Dr. Mayank Shukla Top-Rated Pulmonologist in 2018
Schedule Your Consultation Today
If asthma continues to affect your child's life, contact us today to set up your consultation. During your personal meeting with our pediatric pulmonologist, you can learn more about treatment options, including biologics for asthma in kids in New York City. We work closely with parents and kids alike to ensure that their treatment is safe, effective, and comfortable. Our goal is to help parents and kids alike breathe easier! Call us or use our online form to get started today.